Why Do Good Women Pick the Wrong Men?

Why do great women pick people who treat them poorly? Smart, beautiful, incredible individuals – who give 110% to a man who in return, are only half-vested, part-time, and approach the relationship with a “me”, not “we” mentality.

While your friends see that your relationship is unhealthy, and your rational mind does too, you just can’t seem to get out.  You know deep down inside that the person is not right for you, but make justifications and excuses over and over again.  You stay. You try harder. You’re hooked.

Why does this happen?

1. The more you invest, the more vested you become.

When you don’t get the love and attention you want, it may seem natural to give more.  You invest more – only to find yourself more disappointed, depleted and feeling insignificant with each attempt to create/repair the connection. This is what psychologist Dr. Jeremy Nicholson calls the principle of “sunk costs”.

“Doing favors for others and treating them well, leads us to value and love them…They do all of the “doing”. They are the ones waiting on their partner, doing good deeds, buying gifts, etc. As a result, they have a lot of love (sunk costs) for their date or mate. But, their partner has not invested. They have not given a thing. So, they are not at all in love or committed.”

Before you engage in another act of love, ask yourself what your true intention is. Are you giving without expectation of receiving anything back in return? Are you keeping score? Or, is there a part of your giving that is rooted in the hopes you will get love and acknowledgement in return? If there isn’t a foundation of love, respect and commitment with the person you’re dating, giving more and doing nice things will not cause them to love you more, it’ll only result in you becoming increasingly attached.

2. “We accept the love we think we deserve.” – The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Perhaps you had an unstable male figure in your life as a child, or your first relationship was one that left you hurt and wounded. It is possible that you are choosing relationships that repeat the unavailability, rejection or abandonment issues that were familiar in your earliest relationship with the opposite sex. In a sense, you seek comfort in that familiar scenario – even if it is one filled with angst. These are attractions of deprivation, and it’s possible it stems from your childhood.

The problem is, the longer you continue the cycle, the more your sense of self-worth erodes, making it harder and harder to remove yourself from the pleasure/pain pattern of unhealthy, inaccessible relationships.

I once started to develop feelings for someone and as I started to open up to him, he reacted with aloofness and indifference. It was clear he was emotionally unavailable to me. My natural reaction was to try harder, initiate more, and stick around in hopes he would turn around.

This is what I would have done in my early twenties, but a decade later,  I’ve learned to recognize the signs of an unhealthy dynamic. My craving and desire to make it work with a guy like him is similar to those same attractions in my early twenties. I admit, I was attracted and craving a connection with a man who was unavailable.  But what’s different now is my response.

I can choose to not engage. I can recognize that I’m worth more than to invest in someone who likes me just a little, but not enough. And this, is the decision that starts to break the unhealthy cycle.

Don’t ever forget your worth. The moment you accept less than your worth, you will get less. The moment you tolerate disrespect and disregard, you set precedent.

3. It’s chemical.

Dr. Larry Young, the director for Translational Social Neuroscience, notes that experiencing a loss from a partner – such as a separation or death, is akin to an addict craving drugs. A study showed that voles separated from their vole partner showed high levels of a stress chemical, corticosterone, and experienced an overwhelming anxiety due to their partner loss.  The voles are driven to go “home” to their partner because only then does the oxytocin (the feel good hormone associated with pair bonding) can help ease the anxiety the separation caused.

Dr. Young states that the vole behaviour is similar to humans  – they come back not because they are positively motivated to be with their partners, but because they want the misery of separation to stop.

“We have this normal together, whatever that normal is. And the bad feeling forces you to come back.”

He points out that both men and women who have been verbally or physically abused often refuse to leave those relationships similarly to how drugs addicts cannot leave their relationship with drugs. They are chemically hooked. Then, “They rationalize their choice to stay by focusing on positive traits their partner might possess.” Sound familiar?

I truly believe that when it doesn’t work out with someone in the present, it is because it is meant to work out with someone else in the future. But you can’t leave it all up to fate. There’s work to be done on your part too. Each relationship that comes in your life is the universe’s way of delivering a lesson for you to learn. If you don’t learn that lesson and evolve, you will only face the same issues with each relationship moving forward. If you want to avoid a lifetime of dating the wrong men, you have to be conscious of the old wounds you need to heal and take action to stop destructive habits and patterns.  After all, you have to be the “right one” until you will meet the “right one”.



  • Reply December 2, 2016


    im 42 year old bachelor and im just sick and tired of meeting good women in bad relationships who complain to me non stop about the guy and go running back to them when i show interest in them.people have told me im a good person with a huge heart hilarious nice looking sweet calm easy going and i show women this and i get hurt in the end anyway.to this day the one women who i really clicked with personality wise and in most areas scarred me so badly by her treatment of me that i have permanent untreatable emotional issues.i mean im sick of saying it was my fault for all this.some women just have issues and i just give up now.

    • Reply December 18, 2016


      I’m so sorry to hear this. Some women make it bad for the good one’s. Just like bad guys make it bad for the good guys. #onedayweallwillgetitright

    • Reply December 22, 2016


      I totally understand your position and concerns. I, too, am sick of it. I am a single woman and one of the problems that I have is attracting what I call the wrong man. What I mean by that is that these guys find me and peruse me until I decide to at least have a casual conversation with him. After spending a little time together. I find that they too, want to compare me to a past person or bad relationship. Constantly guarding themselves and looking for things to go wrong or to be wrong with and about me. I’m a great woman, by I means who is able to take care of myself…it’s just seem better to share happiness with someone else. They way it was intended. Someone who is very deserving of us and whom are not afraid of a little challenge.

    • Reply January 12, 2017


      Well Mo, sounds like we’re in the same boat! I consider myself to be a nice guy at least I’m told, easy going, good sense of humor, all that and I too meet good women who flat out aren’t interested and or just run off to or Back to a bad relationship. Story of my life. As this article suggests and I am too, look into your past and btw you are Not untreatable. Maybe In an opposite but same way, you’re drawn to women who reflect an earlier situation like the one you spoke of where maybe your efforts, commitment, devotion etc. were Not appreciated and reciprocated. Now why am I drawn to these women? I’ve never been in a real long relationship nor devastated by one. This article also suggests it can go back as far as childhood as well, which is where I think I need to look. I was adopted( not knocking it or my family) and looking at again who I’m drawn to no real long relationships most of which I broke out of for no real good reason, do I have abandonment issues? Fear of getting perhaps Hurt? Again? Who knows. Anyway I thought I’d share since I shared some ideas with you! Good luck man and Hang in there! like this article also suggests, we are getting lessons so as to be ready for the right one so Take Notes 🙂 Nate

    • Reply June 19, 2017


      I think most people are lost. They constant seek happiness in some way in order to fill-up the void. Alcool, drugs, food, toxic relationships… Anything that may help not to feel the emptiness. I have the same pattern with men: always around 50, with kids and emotional unavailable. It is very difficult to break the cycle. The reason for my choice is so clear that only a fool would carry on doing the same wrong choices: super violet dad and long term relationship with a great man in his mid-40s with two amazing kids. I seek security, emotional not financial (this part I can do by myself). I give it all, dedicate myself, want to build things together. Then all falls appart, over and over… I stay hooked and start hating myself exponentially. I am 32, have a very well paid job, have brains and a good heart and I am beautiful. It is very easy for me to get a men for a relationship (of course for sex as well but I prefer to make love with myself than give my body for a man use as object) whoever everytime I find one I run like it is the plague. Sometimes for instance I really like a guy and I am all into know him better but then he gives the signs that he is really into me and bang… I just run away, I feel so petrified. I am afraid of love. And I continually think about my ex which was the love of my life and broke my soul into million pieces. And no matter I try to glue them, it all falls appart at the minor change.
      At the moment I am trying to not connect with anyone but me – to marry me. In fact the more I am alone without any “toxic man” I feel better and love myself even more. I think I will end up alone but I am actually starting to look at this in a positive way.
      Love is a very special thing and most relationships are based on some sort of dependence.
      Maybe one day I will find love, maybe not. For now I live and enjoy each moment (or at least try!) and keep in my heart that lovely dream of a house full with books, by the sea, with the the melodies of music, the sound of the wind and waves, and the laugh of two children running free mixing all together. The sun is setting… I no longer live in Paris/London nor have a super well-paid job, and yet I fell an immense peace gained with the simplicity of life.
      So yes Mo, I think I will do like you and give up now on the others. Good luck for you!

  • Reply December 5, 2016


    This is one of the most eye-opening and insightful articles I’ve read! Being in a toxic marriage and reading this article is showing me GLARING signs of my own toxic behavior, exactly! Oh my goodness. I am inviting my husband’s behavior and accepting it by actually accepting it. It’s perpetual, cyclical, really. Ahmazing! He’s filed for divorce twice now,and I still had hope. Isn’t that the craziest thing you’ve ever heard? He shows no interest in me, not deep level interest. I only get the surface, and that’s when he wants to show it.

  • Reply December 21, 2016


    Just because a woman is smart and kind doesn’t mean she’s not also a loser. Whether it because of her own ignorance or simply because she’s, deep down a selfish person, having poor morals will lead you in the wrong direction.

  • Reply February 11, 2017

    Nina Aloo

    funny I am a single 32 year old well nearly 32 I am happier alone as it does seem most good men in my culture are with “rubbish women” who hardly work or contribute anything to society. Whilst the women who actually contibute something are given nothing in my culture it seems womens position is lower then a mans. AT LEAST IN A DUMB IDIOTS MIND.

  • Reply February 12, 2017


    Thank you for writing such a great article. It was educational and provided me with some great insight and self reflection. I now have a clear perspective on my current “toxic” relationship and how I will approach new relationships with men. Again, well written with the inclusion of research to back up your premise.

  • Reply March 2, 2017


    Ever since I watched Maury on TV, I see so many women who take care of losers and deadbeats and expect them to be they’re Forrest Gump and shocked and hurt even though everyone knows he’s been cheating. I always think, you could easily get a way better guy then him and why don’t you???

    Thank you for this article.

  • Reply April 18, 2017


    Thanks for this article. Its a pain to realize through reading this that my emotionally unavailable dad has somehow led me to be drawn to men who are also emotionally unavailable. And that I have an anxious attachment style. It’s like finding out that the nice looking house I’m living in has pipe problems and termites. I thought everything looked okay from the outside but now I realize I’ve got work to do. I mean I’ll do the work–it’s just that moment of ah…great. Here we go….Okay, now where’s the wrench? This is going to take a while…

    It’s also annoying that good relationships seem to come to people who have gotten to the point where they can take it or leave it and still be fine. It’s like being given a really nice pair of glasses right after you’ve gotten lasik surgery and don’t really need them any more….”Ah thanks for these. Guess they compliment me but I can live without ’em now” It’s like what’s the point? Where’s the excitement? But I guess that’s what makes relationships healthy.

  • Reply April 25, 2017


    Just look at all the Loser Pathetic Women that us good guys are meeting these days which makes it very bad for us as well.

  • Reply April 26, 2017


    I’m not sure if it’s because I was molested as a young girl, but I too have picked to losers who I thought were princes. One I had 4 children with and was married to for 30 years, and was cheating on me for years.Divorce #1, then I met my soul mate, who was a billion times worse.He was a sociopath and predator/cheater.Divorce#2. I never thought my life would be like this at 59. I’m a very smart successful woman. How did I get hood-winked so easily. All I wanted was happy ever after. Instead I was taken for my money and my home. How could I have been so stupid and why did I pick two losers?

  • Reply June 3, 2017



    You got hoodwinked because you don’t think about doing evil to others, so you aren’t looking for it. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Although, I hope you have learned your lesson an know the signs. There had to be red flags that you ignored. Do you still have your retirement intact? You said you lost your home. You must have recently gone through a divorce. Things will get better. You do have to love yourself and date yourself for awhile until things straighten out.

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